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To Prune or Not to Prune?


I spent much of last Saturday cleaning up the front yard, making plans to hang Christmas lights in another week or two. I had someone stop and ask me about my cutting back the Purple Showers ruellia along the sidewalk. It has taken over about half the sidewalk. I explained that this plant can take shearing back most any time of year and that by cutting it now, it has time to regrow some and be nice for the holidays. Most all plants can be trimmed to shape right now. Roses and most winter hardy shrubs can take a harder prune but no more than a ¼ of the plants’ size. Plants that are sensitive to cold, like ixora, hibiscus and bougainvilleas should not be pruned hard. They need their foliage to help stay warm. Plus new growth that appears after trimming is more sensitive to cold damage.  If you’re not sure to prune or not to prune, check with us…we are always here to help!


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  1. S.Smith says

    I pruned my plants last spring rather than the fall. The crape myrtle didn’t have many flowers this year. I won’t be pruning this year. However, the Esperanza bushes were pruned then too because that is when I have always done it, but it had a hard time recovering this year. Would it be better to prune it in the fall like when I should be pruning the Crape Myrtle?

    • DeAnna says

      I recommend waiting till February to prune the Esperanza and other plants once the winter has done its damage. Pruning in the fall could encourage new growth at a time when the plants should be going dormant for the winter.
      This was an exceptionally hot summer with no rainfall which put a lot of stress on plants and many did not perform as well as other years.

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